Grow­ing Ja pa nese maples in the gar­den C

Garden News (UK) - - About Now -

on­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, Ja­panese maples aren't acidlov­ing plants and don’t need er­i­ca­ceous soils. In fact, they eas­ily adapt to a va­ri­ety of soil and cli­mate con­di­tions. ● In gen­eral, they don’t at­tain great height, av­er­ag­ing 4-5m (13-16½ft) for up­right va­ri­eties and 3m (10ft) for most of the dis­sec­tum group. ● They’re easy to plant as the root sys­tem isn't a deep tap root type. In­stead, the roots will stay rel­a­tively shal­low, there­fore re­quir­ing reg­u­lar ir­ri­ga­tion. They don’t need vast amounts, but reg­u­lar, uni­form wa­ter­ing un­til es­tab­lished will make sure they hap­pily carry on grow­ing. Be­cause of this shal­low root sys­tem, Ja­panese maples are ex­tremely suc­cess­ful be­ing trans­planted from pot to gar­den. Ideal con­di­tions Avoid wet or swampy ground. Growth rate may be re­duced in clay or sandy soils.

Work good-qual­ity com­posted bark into soil. They love moist, very welldrained drained soil and cold win­ters. Coastal lo­ca­tions aren’t ideal – salt-laden winds can dam­age them. If you have one by the coast, reg­u­larly hose the fo­liage with clean wa­ter.

Fer­tiliser isn’t often needed, just a good, gen­eral, fer­tile soil is suf­fi­cient. How­ever, an ap­pli­ca­tion of bal­anced fer­tiliser, such as Grow­more, once a year in spring will be of ben­e­fit.

Maples cope well in sun, but green and pale retic­u­lated va­ri­eties may need shade from the hottest part of the day. Red-pur­ple va­ri­eties need plenty of strong sun­light dur­ing the day to boost their leaf coloura­tion.

Ja­panese maples are win­ter hardy down to -20C (-4F) when the root sys­tem is es­tab­lished in

the ground, and a mulch ap­plied on top of the soil.

Trim ac­ers in the ground to shape from late Jan­uary; late Fe­bru­ary in pots

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